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    Highlights—June 4 , 2005
  • Cooper v. IBM Proposed Settlement for Subclasses 1 and 2. Excerpts: This site contains information regarding the proposed settlement of the claims of members of Subclasses 1 and 2 in the lawsuit entitled Cooper v. IBM Corporation and IBM Personal Pension Plan. This site provides the following information:
    • Important Dates;
    • The Notice approved by the court and sent to eligible class members of Subclasses 1 and 2 describing the proposed Settlement;
    • The Settlement Agreement;
    • Frequently Asked Questions regarding the case and the Settlement;
    • Other Important Contact Information. [...]
    The content of this Web site has been approved by IBM and the counsel for Subclasses 1 and 2.
  • Yahoo! message board: "Re: $125 per month" by "madinpok". Excerpts: I think there is probably a lot of misunderstanding about what the lawsuit is about and what the settlement addresses. Some of the changes IBM made in the 1995 and 1999 plans are allowed under the law. The most significant thing is that IBM changed the future accrual rate of the pension plan each time. This had a major effect on the size of the pensions that future retirees will collect. It reduced the pension for an employee with 40 years of service from about 40% of average salary under the 1991 S&E formula to about 35% under the PCF formula, to about 20% under the C-B plan. Unfortunately, that part is all legal.
    What IBM did wrong, and what the lawsuit went after, is the fact that the formulas used in the PCF and C-B plans discriminate based on age. Older employees end up with less than younger employees and that is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). But the amounts we are talking about here are far less than the amounts that people lost due to the change in accrual rates.
    While the settlement provides some correction for the discrimination losses, it will not come close to restoring anyone's pension to the amounts that the 1991 plan would have provided. I wish it could do that, but there is no legal recourse available to make that happen. Still, I will happily accept whatever amount comes my way as a result of the lawsuit. I'd rather have even a few bucks extra a month in my pocket rather than in the executives' pockets.
  • Yahoo! message board posting by Janet Krueger. Full excerpt: All I can do is help interpret the settlement agreement as it is written. I cannot provide legal advice, and I do not have any power to amend the settlement document. Like most of the other posters on this board, I am just a very interested class member... If you think you might be covered by the settlement agreement, but are not sure, write a letter to class counsel asking for a clarification -- Doug Sprong's address is included in the settlement notice.
    Anyone who is in a special situation not specifically covered by the settlement agreement should carefully read section 5, titled "Hearing on this Proposed Settlement", on page 4 of the settlement notice. It defines the process for filing an objection to the settlement with the court, which must be done by July 11, 2005. The section states you do NOT need to appear at the hearing on August 8, but in my experience, Judges are more likely to respond favorably when the person with the objection takes the time to show up in their courtroom or hires an attorney to advocate on his/her behalf.
    Do not wait to see whether someone else takes care of advocating for your situation, as objections not filed with the court by the July 11, 2005 deadline will not be heard; the settlement agreement is a legal contract that will be finalized by a final order issued by Judge Murphy immediately following the August 8 hearing, so any amendments or corrections MUST be done before then!!! Of course, groups have more power than individuals; if there is a group of you that share special circumstances, you might want to get together...
  • In a Yahoo! message board, Janet Krueger responds to this comment: "It is a very sick world where greedy so called businessmen can steal pensions from men and women that worked the better part of their lives for. Now we have to use our pension money to pay lawyers to recover what is left of our pensions. A life time of work now rests in someone else's pocket. The law is to protect the Rich and Greedy. There is no justice associated with our legal system." Janet responds: I mostly agree -- there is some justice with our legal system, but not near as much as there should be... Please be aware that Rep. Boehner is planning to sponsor new 'pension reform' legislation in Congress next week that will retroactively legalize everything IBM did to our pensions. If passed, other employee groups, who could otherwise benefit from the precedents being set by Cooper v IBM, will have no recourse at all. Instead of potentially getting a settlement that they would have to share with their attorneys, they would get nothing at all, and other companies would not be held accountable at all!!! The result would be massive pension reductions throughout corporate America.
    If you haven't done so recently, PLEASE share your thoughts on this whole travesty with your senators and representative in Washington. In addition to objecting to the legalization of corporate theft that is being proposed by Rep. Boehner, there is also some good pension reform legislation that you can advocate for -- I've uploaded a summary to the files area of this board, and you can read it at http://tinyurl.com/bkhx8 -- Congress has the power to either improve or damage our legal system. They will only do the right thing if enough of us make it clear to them that we are watching what they do, and that we will base our votes in the next election on their behavior.
  • Yahoo! message board: "Out of Blue Lawsuit" by Janet Krueger. Full excerpt: The legal team from Maine that is pursuing a class action-type lawsuit against IBM for age discrimination in lay offs is hosting an informational session in Rochester, MN at the Kahler Hotel on Friday night, June 10, from 7pm until 9pm. If you are an older Minnesotan who IBM let go within the last 3 years, stop in -- the information is free. I will also be attending and will be available to answer questions about the Cooper settlement notice for subclasses 1 and 2, which will have been mailed by then.
  • Yahoo! message board: "Meetings with attorneys handling the IBM Age Discrimination in layoffs case" by Janet Krueger. Excerpts: PLEASE CIRCULATE to laid off IBMers, particularly those in Minnesota and Colorado who can attend the meeting in person. Others can attend by telecon. Attorneys Jeff Young and Patrick McTeague will be meeting with laid off IBMers next Friday and Saturday in MN and CO in person or by teleconference phone link to either of the meetings. The attorneys currently represent about 200 older laid off IBMers. Here are the details:
    • Minnesota: Friday, June 10, 7-9pm, The Kahler Grand Hotel, 20 Southwest Second Avenue, Rochester, Minnesota
    • Colorado: Saturday, June 11, 4-6pm, The Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado
    • Anywhere else: You can attend either of these meetings by telephone. However, because these meetings are covered by the attorney client privilege we cannot circulate the phone number and access code on email. So please call the law firm during business hours to get the phone number and access code: 207 725-5581 or 800 482-0958.
    The case was filed in federal court in California. We expect the appeals court there to make a decision similar to the decision made by the Minnesota appeal's court in Dale Thomforde's case and to declare the waiver invalid as a matter of law. That means about 10,000 older IBMers who were laid off from July, 2001 until now and who signed the "general release and covenant not to sue" can now join the suit. If you are one of those laid off IBMers or you know one, please forward this note so they can consider whether to join the suit. Please contact attorney Jeff Young or his assistant Sue Turner at the numbers below if you have questions or would like to meet with the attorneys when they travel to your town or by phone this weekend. All older laid off IBMers who were laid off since July, 21 and who signed the release are invited to come in person or to call in and participate in the meeting by conference call.
    Here is the news release issued by the attorneys handling the IBM age discrimination in layoffs case. The release describes the victory fellow IBMer Dale Thomforde won in his case in which the 8th circuit court of appeals declared that the release and covenant not to sue Dale signed (and that all other laid off IBMers signed if you were laid off since July 2001) is illegal as a matter of law.
  • Yahoo message board: "Re: Salary increase?" by "agvetsch2000". Excerpt: Well here you go. Those of us still here at IBM can now join our Spirit advocate in raising the bar for IBM morale. The fallowing is note sent by a member of upper management.
    IBM has long been recognized as one of the truly great companies to work for, and we know that maintaining this status is important to our long-term success. This means doing the things it takes to stay on top, such as investing in you, our most valuable asset. To get the ball rolling, IGS-Americas recently launched the SPIRIT Initiative, with Lois Brown-Saint Surin serving as the new director of employee satisfaction. With the formation of the SPIRIT Center of Excellence, Lois and her team will work closely with us to focus on sharing best practices from IBM and other companies in order to help us address our key employee satisfaction issues. For Technical Support, the SPIRIT Advocate community has been selected, and I have appointed Carol Lynn Miller, as our Lead SPIRIT Advocate. Carol Lynn will be coordinating our efforts to ensure we are tuned-in to, and acting on, the most important issues. I strongly believe in the connection between employee satisfaction and business success, which is why I want to see our organization embrace this initiative...and this is where you come in. If you are interested in playing an active role in bringing about change – to drive new programs and initiatives that can make a difference - send a note to your unit’s SPIRIT Advocate, copying your manager.
  • Yahoo! Finance board posting: "IBM Layoffs Begin" by "yeatsisdead". Full excerpt: Layoffs commence in IBM Global Services and IBM CIO Headquarters yesterday in the US, following the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. Even management was unaware of the extent of the cuts. They promise a major reorganization of IGS and Headquarters in the next few months. I haven't seen any news stories on this yet. Stealth layoffs again?
  • Yahoo message board: "Layoffs yesterday in IBM U.S." by Linda Guyer. Full excerpt: About half the people on my floor in Endicott were laid off yesterday. All were working on web development projects in IGS with internal IBM customers. It appears from all accounts that what IGS is doing is leaving one person stateside on each project, and the rest of the work is to be performed by "GR's" or global resources. I cannot express how angry I am that IBM has spent billions of dollars in stock buybacks but they cannot preserve a single one of these jobs. I was "counseled" by my management last year for talking to the press about IBM's offshoring plans, yet here we are, executing those plans.
    There are about 7 of us left on my floor now, from a previously thriving group of web developers and project managers. Work was always coming in, we had weekly meetings to plan who would work on what. Now the few PM's left are tasked with trying to coordinate work from Russia, India and Brazil, often with angry internal customers who were given no choice in the decision. There might as well be tumbleweed rolling down the hallways. It's truly sad.
  • Forbes: Palmisano's IBM Seen Cutting 1,000 More German Jobs. By Chris Noon. Excerpts: International Business Machines Corp (IBM) may cut about 1,000 jobs in Germany in addition to the previously announced 580 job cuts as part of its global restructuring plan, weekly magazine Wirtschafts Woche said in a report to be published tomorrow. While IBM said last month it plans to cut 10,000-13,000 jobs worldwide under its restructuring plan, with most of the cuts in Europe, it has not yet announced the total number of job cuts by region. Wirtschafts Woche cites sources among the company's workforce as saying Johann Weihen, head of IBM's German operations, is planning to cut an additional 700 jobs in Germany by mid-year and to outsource about 300 jobs by selling off several small business units. German trade unions last month said the company may cut as many as 2,500 jobs at IBM Germany, which employs a total 25,000 people.
  • The Register (United Kingdom): IBM UK workers in the dark as firing crunch time hits. Excerpts: More complaints have surfaced against IBM's severance and firing plans here in the UK with critics saying Big Blue is behaving like an antiquated employer. IBM last month warned that it would fire up to 13,000 workers - many of them in Europe and the UK specifically. It began the job cut process by offering workers in the UK a severance package that includes two weeks worth of pay for each year of service. But Amicus, one the largest unions in the UK, with 1.2 million members, has challenged the process IBM put in place to counsel workers on severance options. In particular, the union has charged that IBM is taking an unprecedented step in requiring elected employee representatives to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which restrict the information they can report back to the rest of the workforce. "We have never come across that (NDAs) before in this type of negotiation," Peter Skyte, national officer with Amicus, told The Register. "These people can't represent the workforce because they can't report back to them properly with the gagging conditions IBM has in place." IBM declined to comment for this story.
    One IBM staffer who requested anonymity described the voluntary severance offer as "extremely disappointing." Amicus agreed. "For a world-class company, IBM is not paying world-class redundancy in comparison with some of its competitors who pay, for example, one month's salary," Skyte said. As a point of reference, IBM's US staffers were not offered any voluntary packaged in this most recent round of layoffs, although relatively few US staff were hit compared to European employees. In the US, companies often offer just two weeks to two months of severance pay total not for each year of service.
    The union leader also emphasized Amicus's displeasure with IBM's overall firing plans. The company last year boasted of its intention to hire thousands and thousands of staffers only to end up firing almost as many staff after missing earnings expectations in its first quarter. "This is a knee jerk reaction to the first quarter that is aimed at boosting share prices," Skyte said. "It's similar to 19th century farmers who hired workers for the harvest and then fired them at the end of the season. That's no way to treat a hi-tech workforce."
  • The Register (United Kingdom): IBM Germany job cut fears tempered. Excerpts: The number of IBM workers facing the chop in Germany has been scaled down, according to the FT. Unions had feared that as a many as 2,500 jobs would be axed as part of IBM's decision earlier this month to ditch 13,000 workers. The German edition of the financial rag cites insiders who say that the 2,500 figure was a "gross over-estimation" and instead reports that the job losses will be nearer 700. If true, then that's good news for workers in Germany, but not so encouraging for the rest of the workforce who are still waiting to learn of their futures.
    Such is the concern about restructuring, IBM workers across Europe took action on Monday to protest against planned job cuts at the IT giant. An alliance of works councils, unions and employee groups did their best to try and stymie the job cuts. A statement from the 25 groups said the move expressed "our grave concern over IBM's recent announcement of job cuts of 10,000 to 13,000 employees worldwide.
  • Workforce Management: IBM Strives for the Security of Defined-Benefit Programs as It Shifts Focus to 401(k)s. By Jessica Marquez. Excerpts: Just months after it settled a closely watched class-action lawsuit over its cash-balance plan, IBM has brushed itself off and is moving on. Some may have thought the company would hunker down after agreeing to a $320 million partial settlement with employees who claimed that its cash-balance plan discriminated against older workers. But instead, IBM has been busy adding a suite of options to its 401(k) plan--now the only retirement savings vehicle available to new employees--to offer employees the same type of paternalistic help found in defined-benefit plans.
  • Associated Press, courtesy of Tampa Bay Online: Federal Rules Making the Nation's Private Pension Problem Worse, GAO Finds. Excerpts: The federal rules designed to ensure that millions of people receive their private pension benefits are flawed, making it easier for retirement plans to have risky financial shortfalls, congressional investigators have found. "Our work shows that although the current system permits flexibility, it also permits reported plan funding to be inadequate, misleading and opaque," says a new report by the Government Accountability Office. Such federal oversight, the GAO said, does not appear to serve the interest of any stakeholder of a private, guaranteed-benefit pension plans. [...] "The GAO report confirms what we have been saying all along: The rules must be changed to ensure that companies keep the pension promises they have made to their workers," said Bradley Belt, executive director of PBGC. The agency guarantees payments of benefits earned by 44 million workers and retirees participating in private pension plans. [...] From 1995 to 2002, 39 percent of defined-benefit pension plans were less than 100 percent funded. In addition, on average, more than 60 percent of the largest plans each year made no cash contribution because of rules allowing sponsors to use credit for minimum requirements.
  • New York Times: Some Big Companies Failed to Add to Pensions in 1990's. By Mary Williams Walsh. Excerpts: More than half of the nation's biggest companies with pension plans sailed through the boom of the late 1990's and the bear market that followed without putting any cash into their pension funds, using loopholes in federal law to skirt a requirement for annual contributions, according to a new study by the investigative arm of Congress. [...] The G.A.O. noted that when Congress enacted the pension law 30 years ago, it expected companies to create pension funds and, at the very least, make yearly contributions equal to the amount of benefits their workers had earned for that year. There were also special rules for catching up quickly if the trust funds fell too far behind. [...] The investigators found that most companies let their pension contributions lapse to some degree, even in good years. Every year from 1995 to 2002, they said, about four plans in 10 were less than fully funded. The weaker a company happened to be, the investigators found, the likelier it was to be operating a pension fund that was also weak and to be calculating its pension values in a way that would "depict plan funding in a more optimistic light."
  • Detroit Free News: Pension plans put workers on notice. Trend of decreases in traditional benefits pressures employees to plot retirement. By Eileen Alt Powell. Excerpts: Younger workers who have many years to go before retirement can make up the difference by stepping up their savings. But older workers -- especially those 50 and older -- often face difficult decisions when they find that their pension plans are being changed, because they don't have the luxury of time to catch up. These older workers, experts say, need to study new pension offerings carefully and weigh alternatives that may include working longer, cutting back retirement expectations, or both.
    Those were options that Janet Krueger, 53, of Rochester, Minn., faced in 1999 when International Business Machines Corp. converted its traditional pension plan to a cash-balance plan. Krueger, a programming consultant with IBM for more than 23 years, had expected to get at least one-third of her salary at retirement, as her father had when he retired from an engineering career at IBM." When I first looked at it (the new plan) I was in shock," she remembers. "I thought, 'these numbers can't be right. There must be a mistake.' " But after talking with IBM human resources personnel and other workers, she determined that the pension she had come to expect wouldn't be there. "I calculated that under the cash-balance plan, I would have to work until 78 to get the same annuity (monthly benefit) I would have had at age 65 under the old plan," Krueger said.
    Some disgruntled IBM workers sued the company, alleging that older workers were being discriminated against. Krueger simply quit and, after a number of years of private computer consulting, she has changed careers and is one year away from completing law school. IBM, meanwhile, has announced that starting next year, new workers will be offered no pension, only a 401(k) savings plan.
  • TomPaine.common sense: The Disappearing Pension by Jonathan Tasini. Excerpts: Here’s a basic moral value: taking someone’s money without their permission is stealing. Except in America, where, if you’re a corporation that takes away someone’s pension, it’s okay. And the question is: Why isn’t the progressive movement making a huge deal out of this? With very little public outcry, we are letting corporate America dismantle the private defined-benefit pension system. At the same time, huge salary and pension benefits are lavished on executives. Remember, pensions are deferred compensation—people put off getting money in their paychecks today because of a promise that they would receive a specific amount of money (hence, the term “defined benefit”) many years later. It’s their money, not the companies’ money. The private pension was a fundamental pillar of the American middle-class dream: If you saved now, you could still have a middle-class life in retirement, and you wouldn’t have to gamble in the stock market to do so. [...]
    Beyond labor, the relative inaction of progressives is baffling. I’d wager that millions of mainstream Americans—self-described as moderate, independents and even social conservatives—could be moved on this issue alone. With progressives obsessing about finding the right message to connect with Americans, I can’t think of a better issue: They are taking your hard-earned money! Rather than hold yet another policy conference to ponder the message, why aren’t there mass demonstrations in front of United Airlines, the PBGC, or the courts that are allowing companies to ditch pensions? Perhaps the answer is that the demise of the private pension is just another example of something we are all vulnerable to: accepting pervasive corporate power in an era of diminishing expectations. Wall Street is telling corporations that pensions just burden their financial books, retarding stock prices. Companies, in turn, are saying that if they are forced to fully fund pensions (which they do not have to do now), they will dump pensions. So people—many of whom probably never had a private pension—just shrug their shoulders and put their faith in the stock market or inflated housing values.
  • Associated Press: Socialist Leads U.S. Senate Race in Vt. Excerpt: Bernie Sanders jabs at the air, his flushed face a sharp contrast to his unruly white hair. Yet again, he pummels Washington, the Congress and the president. "The government that we have today in the White House, the House of Representatives with Tom Delay, the Senate with Bill Frist, is the most right-wing, extremist government, perhaps in the history of the United States," he tells labor activists at a May Day celebration in the century-old Labor Hall. "Time after time they pass legislation that benefits the rich and the powerful, and they pass legislation that hurts the middle class, working people and low income people." [...] Sanders says his greatest value in Congress has been to highlight issues before others even identify them: He notes he was the first congressman to lead a bus tour to Canada to help seniors get cheap prescription drugs and he is proud of his efforts to bring attention to a pension dispute at IBM.
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA): Health Care Reform Could Save Money and Insure All. Excerpt: In all cases, independent analyses by a researcher specializing in health care financing showed billions in savings through cost management and covering the uninsured, with the universal system providing the largest savings, an estimated $1.136 trillion by 2015. The analyses used conservative fiscal assumptions and Congressional Budget Office methodology, the coalition said. Without changes researcher Kenneth Thorpe, head of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Emory University in Atlanta, said not only will costs continue to skyrocket but also the number of uninsured Americans will rise by at least another 8 million within 10 years, to more than 54 million.
  • Washington Post: An Urgent Case For Fixing Health Care. By David S. Broder. Excerpts: Earlier that day, the National Coalition on Health Care released a report on the potential savings to business, individuals and government from comprehensive reform of the beleaguered medical-insurance-hospital system. The figures are startling -- a projected saving of anywhere from $320 billion to $1.1 trillion in the first 10 years, even while insurance coverage is extended to every American and stronger quality measures are put in place. Were it not for its source, this would seem like pie in the sky. But the organization that sponsored the briefing is one of the largest groups in the health care field, a coalition of 90 organizations with 150 million members or employees, ranging from AARP and the AFL-CIO to Blue Shield of California and such corporate giants as AT&T, Verizon and the Principal Financial Group.
  • New York Times: Richest Are Leaving Even the Rich Far Behind. By David Cay Johnston. Excerpts: When F. Scott Fitzgerald pronounced that the very rich "are different from you and me," Ernest Hemingway's famously dismissive response was: "Yes, they have more money." Today he might well add: much, much, much more money. The people at the top of America's money pyramid have so prospered in recent years that they have pulled far ahead of the rest of the population, an analysis of tax records and other government data by The New York Times shows. They have even left behind people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Call them the hyper-rich. They are not just a few Croesus-like rarities. Draw a line under the top 0.1 percent of income earners - the top one-thousandth. Above that line are about 145,000 taxpayers, each with at least $1.6 million in income and often much more. The average income for the top 0.1 percent was $3 million in 2002, the latest year for which averages are available. That number is two and a half times the $1.2 million, adjusted for inflation, that group reported in 1980. No other income group rose nearly as fast. The share of the nation's income earned by those in this uppermost category has more than doubled since 1980, to 7.4 percent in 2002. The share of income earned by the rest of the top 10 percent rose far less, and the share earned by the bottom 90 percent fell. [...]
    The Bush administration tax cuts stand to widen the gap between the hyper-rich and the rest of America. The merely rich, making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, will shoulder a disproportionate share of the tax burden. President Bush said during the third election debate last October that most of the tax cuts went to low- and middle-income Americans. In fact, most - 53 percent - will go to people with incomes in the top 10 percent over the first 15 years of the cuts, which began in 2001 and would have to be reauthorized in 2010. And more than 15 percent will go just to the top 0.1 percent, those 145,000 taxpayers.
    The analysis also found the following:
    • Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes - a minimum of $87 million in 2000, the last year for which the government will release such data - now pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same percentage of their incomes as people making $50,000 to $75,000.
    • Those earning more than $10 million a year now pay a lesser share of their income in these taxes than those making $100,000 to $200,000.
    • The alternative minimum tax, created 36 years ago to make sure the very richest paid taxes, takes back a growing share of the tax cuts over time from the majority of families earning $75,000 to $1 million - thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars annually. Far fewer of the very wealthiest will be affected by this tax.
  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Wal-Mart fights benefits disclosure in Minnesota. By Chris Serres. Excerpts: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. does not want Minnesotans to know how many of its workers in this state receive public health care assistance. The world's largest retailer has denounced as a public-relations ploy legislation -- which some state legislators have dubbed the "anti-Wal-Mart bill" -- that would create a public list of companies whose workers are enrolled in MinnesotaCare and other government-funded health care programs. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant recently sent two executives to St. Paul to lobby against the bill, which the Legislature may vote on in special session this month. Wal-Mart also sent a two-page letter describing its health care benefits to every legislator in the state. [...]
    But proponents of the bill, whose chief author is Sen. Becky Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, say the public has a right to know which employers have become a drain on the state's public health care system. They say the bill does not target Wal-Mart in particular but is meant to see how the state can work with companies to provide better health care programs. In the last fiscal year, the state government spent $270.2 million for MinnesotaCare, a program that provides assistance for people who don't have access to affordable insurance. Yet no one in the state government knows which employers have the most workers enrolled in the program."If it's true what people say, that big multinational companies are outsourcing health care to taxpayers, then it would be good to have a handle on which ones," said Rep. Sheldon Johnson, DFL-St. Paul. "It's just information." But it's information that Wal-Mart fears, and for good reason. In other states that have compiled such lists, Wal-Mart has come at or near the top among employers with workers enrolled in state medical assistance. Once such findings are made public, they can be used by opponents of Wal-Mart to stir up support for punitive measures against big-box retailers.
  • "anyone else get the axe? and how bout that w3.ibm.com article" by "gypseeeeeeeee". (Warning: Lengthy!). Full excerpt: I got the axe last tuesday almost to the day of my 24th...happy anniversary to me! damn and i really wanted that grandfather clock. But you know what? that's of no consequence to anyone but me, and I truly don't care...it's not as if it's a surprise or I'm unprepared, considering i had a huge red target on my back for a while now...old pension plan, age, years of service. Personally, I'm taking what money I can and leaving this shithole company and not looking back. Why stress. My health and my peace of mind and quality of life will only improve. The last few years have been a constant source of alternating confusion and amusement anyway. As for the OWBPA "numbers" in the "package," well no surprises there. Vast majority older with years in. Yeah a few in their 30s to make it look good but whatcha wanna bet they're the ones who get the few jobs that there are? And that we don't see the "final" revised numbers. Another funny thing? No one I know who actually wanted to go was asked if they would go or wanted to. Wonder how true that is in general. Oh well...water under the bridge (no pun intended there).
    So anyhow, before I got ill for 12 weeks at the end of January 2005, I had been working 50-70+ hours a week for years, plus weekends, plus nights, plus whatever else it took. Boy was I a freakin idiot. All it did was get me two 3 ratings (my last was a 2, for which I had to bust my ass so hard it made me physically ill) . While I was out on sick leave my PDM called me to lecture me and said to me, and I quote, "We need you out of AMS...you are messing up our utilization numbers. How dare I have the audacity to get sick ?! With that statement, I knew I was a goner. But hey, I happened to love my job and to be good at it. IBM's loss not mine. Someone else's gain soon. My PDM didn't even know I had degrees in Communications, Business, Accounting, and Systems Analysis. It was both on my resume and in my PD Tools skills base for the whole 5 years she erm "managed" me. I also told her that every time we spoke. Imagine that. They tied my hands by matrixing me into a number. Weeeeeee...
    So anyway, when I returned from sick leave, I was told that IBM GS AMS was wanting "out" of the body shop business and was looking for a permanent long term position for me. Hahaha. Right. By networking, I found three good jobs. They said no and never told me about the offers. This by the way was a pattern they followed for three years now and that I had to fight and go around more than once to keep working. They had blocked me. Imagine that...my skill was in demand.
    When I called them on it, of course they denied it and of course they don't write anything down and haven't for years now. (Shh lawsuits you know...we never TOLD you you have to work 53 hours a week to meet your utilization number! we never said this or that...blah blah.) How do these people sleep at night? Yeah so they denied it, and it was really fun watching them squirm in my meetings with HR and my PDM and her boss this week. I wish they coulda seen the smile on my face as I told them exactly how not stupid I was and asked them "hard" questions and kept saying yes you've told me that before but we all know that's not true. I have timelines and documentation of everything for the p)ast three years and I had all the right meetings and told all the right people what was going on. This is more for my sanity than anything else. You really can't stop a steamroller once it starts moving, ya know?
    And for my own sanity. I'm going and I'm not going to look back. If I happen to fall into one of the few jobs available, I may stick around. On my terms. But they did threaten and allude to the fact that hey...there's severance this time and there wasn't last time and may not be next time so ya gotta think, right? Or maybe I'll move to Sri Lanka and work again for them someday as a contractor. Hahaha. Right. There's way more and it gets funnier, but enough of that for now...you'll have to wait for the novel...and I do hope you support me by buying it. :)
    So no, getting word that i was being (lol -->) reduced sucked but is a non issue for me. I worked hard and had a sweet ride. I never took a penny I didn't earn. My conscience is clear. But what was really ludicrous to me was the way they are treating people who are both leaving and staying. For example, the w3.ibm.com article that this week...
    "Call to Action" was the headline ... 30 days to make the numbers, it said. I'm still laughing at that one. Rub salt in the wounds of the 30-day people why don't you, Sam. Then on page two was the headline "What can you do" What I can DO is get fired and leave in 30 days to help your freakin numbers, Sam. I can't work because your minions wouldn't let me even though I was highly respected and in high demand and have totally current skills. What a spin, so spare me all the BS you fed me these past few weeks...really. You insult my intelligence.
    The better question, Sam, is what can you do? Take a pay cut? No. Instead of firing the good, hardworking people who have not one iota of control over their own destinies, why don't you fire your bozo executive staff who can't seem to get a plan or a forecast right for years now, thus setting false expectations to the stockholders. Sam, admit that you could, by putting a moratorium on you executive pay raises and bonuses and executive travel for one year and one week respectively, the salaries of all the people you cut in 2005. Sam, you are a fat cat loser and a far cry of the man I used to know in the 80s when you still cared. But then it's not a surprise that the power and money changed you. Happens to the best. Tell me though, Sam, have you even once looked at a single alternative to cutting jobs? We all know what that answer is.
    Oh, by the way, the suggestion in the article of what the the IBMers who remain can do to make the numbers? Organize your days wisely. Hahahahahaha!!! Telling a team of highly skilled professionals to organize their day wisely. Is that condescending or WHAT? I'm laughing so hard on my way out the door. Speaking of condescending, I hear BCS is now being "allowed" to woo the under $1M business. Wonder who the short-sighted idiots who didn't allow them to before were. Wonder if THEY still have their jobs.
    Short-sighted, knee jerk reactions, Sam. You need a refresher in Business 101 and to take Humanity 101. Before I go, I think that I should mention there's a guy in Minsk who could do your job at 1/10th the cost. That might save your quarter. Offshore that, fatso. Sorry guys for the sarcasm. I do wish the normal people luck and whatever peace and benefit you can still retain. Join the alliance and watch out for yourselves. No one else is going to.
Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Off-Shoring Issues
  • WashTech News: Outsourcing America: A New Book Brings It Home. By Mark Owen. Excerpts: Meanwhile, a sea change has taken place in the relations of workers with their employers. White-collar workers, in particular, used to be considered stakeholders in the corporations they worked for, but now only stockholders and executives are considered such, with stock compensation used to help align them with non-worker interests. Companies often exploit both workers and communities; they push for tax breaks in communities where they do business, and when hey leave the area, the unemployed workers face the tax burden. The H1B and L1 visa programs play a major role in the outsourcing process. The Hiras show that these programs are being used to lower wages, not fill shortages. These programs also create competition for American firms, as some workers return to their homeland with contacts and start their own companies.
    Besides outsourcing business functions, many companies have opened R&D centers overseas. This practice belies the assertion of some economists that only low-level, boring work is being sent overseas. Companies argue that their establishment of research centers in other countries is designed to help them develop their overseas markets. The authors point out, however, that many of those companies are already losing to competition in the U.S. market and likely don't have good prospects in the foreign markets as well. However, the one benefit the corporations will experience is the deferment of taxes on income earned overseas. The recent tax moratorium on overseas earnings has allowed overseas profits, most of which were sitting offshore, to be repatriated at 5% tax instead of 35%. [...]
    While the impact on IT jobs has received the most focus in the last few years, "anything that can go over a wire" is at risk. Lawyers, architects, medical professionals, and others are starting to be impacted. While some economists hope that a next big thing will replace the IT boom, the authors warn that other countries with competitive IT policies also have similar plans for biotech and nanotech. In addition, the depressed market for engineers is already discouraging students from going into engineering fields.
  • IT Week (United Kingdom): IBM moves to promote offshoring. Restructuring at IBM will lead to more packaged offshore services.
    By James Murray. Excerpt: IT managers may face increasing pressure to use packaged offshore services, following IBM's decision to restructure its European services organisation. Analysts said the savings that can be generated by such services mean that in some cases companies not following this model may become uncompetitive because they will have higher costs. [...] "Some work should be done close to the client, but other work can be done from any location," said IBM chief financial officer Mark Loughridge in a webcast. "We will consolidate operations where feasible, create standard approaches and repeatable processes, and enable skilled professionals to provide support across functions." [...] But Tim Jennings of analyst Butler Group said firms should resist the temptation to use packaged outsourced services where their internal IT department is still adding value. "If an area of IT gives the firm a competitive advantage you are better off ploughing your own furrow and keeping it in-house."

Vault Message Board Posts
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Some of this week's posts follow.
  • More Sample Questions (for an IGS applicant to ask during a job interview), by "howard stern". Full excerpt: 1) Why do you think IBM hired McKinsey to do their strategy and change work? 2) Are you comfortable with only being reimburse on expenses up to the IBM defined rate? You then get to pay any difference (up side only) from your paycheck. 3) What kind of strategy is BCS using when they are asking employees to:
    • Work an extra 6-8 hours a week if it can be charged to a client.
    • Not take any vacation if you are billable.
    • Make up any vacation around memorial day.
    • Has a bench of 17 people in a consulting business?
    • Running a utilization rate of 85% to hit the number?
    • Cancelling training until 3Q.
    • Delaying start dates of new hires until 3Q.
    Or is this simply falling over backward to hit a number? 4) Do you have any expectation of a promotion? If no then IBM is for you. 5) Do you actually plan on receiving a bonus? IBM says no.
  • "Ignorance Is Bliss" by "LongGone1998". Excerpts: Here’s my situation: I’ve been pursued by IBM BCS to come back to the fold, and initially, it was a tempting proposition (history is often viewed through rose-colored glasses…I left in 1998). However, after reading this board, making an honest assessment of the situation, and asking the tough questions of the recruiter (and observing their lack of in-depth answers and how poorly they operate), it became clear to me that what I read here is not an anomaly, but reality). If its helpful, ignore the color commentary by some of the posters and look at the content of each post.
    • Career Management - by any measure, careers have stagnated at IBM BCS. [...]
    • Personal financial growth - by any measure, salaries and bonuses are non-existent. Given that you won’t be legacy PwC, you won’t be experiencing the salary cuts. However, you have ask the recruiter about how often bonuses have been paid out and how much if your bonus dependent on factors outside your control. Then come back and say that you will experience personal financial growth within BCS.
    • Culture – BCS has just announced 13,000 job cuts. Sure, CandorSense and others will argue that is driven by market forces, and I (along with Dose/ABC/C2L) will gladly support that market forces dictate strategic job cuts (Candor will really get worked up, however, on the whole H1B/L1 topic, though). How does that create a stable workforce, especially when you throw in all of the other internal politics and expense policy changes?
    If you’re a seasoned consultant, you will understand that it is so much easier to put up with client and travel crap when the perception of company support is there. Back in the day, PwC expense and travel policies were very generous (even before the bubble). In the heat lamp of SOX and quarterly earning, such niceties are hard to justify, so hence the tightening of the belt.
  • "Calling all career masochists" by "Dose of reality". Excerpts: Specific facts that support a decision to avoid IBM:
    • Absence of raises the last three years.
    • Zero bonus the last three years.
    • 90% utilization targets.
    • Unachievable profit targets.
    • Extra billing hour mandates.
    • Restrictive travel policy that fails to differentiate between client reimbursable expenses and internal non-reimbursed travel.
    • Requirement that our “independent” consultants have to force feed IBM products and services to clients regardless of fit.
    • Cumbersome performance evaluation system with quotas that place the vast majority of staff in the “nice try, thank you for playing, better luck next year” category.
    • Stifling finance, legal, and HR bureaucracy.
    • Host of implicit and explicit barriers to promotion.
  • "PwC 'Sore Losers'?? Are you high?" By "howard stern". Excerpts: Negative comments by former PwC consultants have nothing to do with being sore losers. The comments have to do with the breathtaking incompetence of IBM management in running a consulting business. The vast majority of ex-PwC people wanted the hostile takeover to succeed. Why would people stay 2 years? To give the new situation a chance. However - IBM has run BCS with an absolute ineptitude and incompetence that is shocking. Some facts:
    • IBM spent $3.5 billion purchasing PwC Consulting, a services company without physical assets. IBM proceeds to institute a policy of miniscule raises, takes away career advancement opportunities resulting in run away turnover. How does this "strategy" make sense from an investment perspective?
    • IBM is not instituting any type of retention program for money making segments. Making sure people stay in areas you are making lots of money in is business 101. How does this make sense?
    • Running the business to "make the quarter" rather than have a strategy. This quarter IBM is requiring extra billable hours if they can be charged to the client. The implication is that on fixed price jobs eat the hours. IBM is requiring that people "make up" memorial day holiday vacation. Doesn't Memorial day happen every year? The vacation impact should be predictable? Training is on hold. New hire start dates have been pushed out to Q3. How is this a strategy? These are acts of desperation!
    • Turnover and replacement hires are impacting IBM's ability to deliver. Clients are becoming or are aware of this. This further erodes the market value of the IBM brand and threatens rates!
    • Massive bureaucracy - people cannot reach to specific client situations. More power is flowing to the "overhead people" as a result of the expense policy changes. Why should IBM HR manage client related expenses when the client is paying? There are reasons for these charges (i.e. the client has a hotel / airline requirement). But no one at IBM thinks like that.
    IBM BCS in a word - Incompetent
  • "Goodbye old Blue. Lessons learned" by "HeyChief". Full Excerpt: I spent 5.5 years in IBM software group doing various happy things with various smart people. From there, I took the plunge into the sick, sad pit that is BCS. I was lost in the depths until recently, when I found my more satisfying and rewarding employment elsewhere. I include here for your perusal some lessons I learned during my time in the bowels of BCS:
    • The people less talented than you shall be called Team Leads.
    • You may travel 6000 miles every week only for them to tell you that $30 is not a per diem, it's actuals. Oh, and no car rental on fixed bids; so get on the bus, or its your own dime.
    • Raise? What raise? Ex-colleagues report that this week it was announced that 50% of the group is not getting a raise. This on top of raises being pushed back two months to save a few more nickels.
    • The word of somebody who's been with the company 3 months will take precedence over you; even with your 6 year tenure, b/c your boss has 100 employees, 90 of which they've never met. This is without the benefit of being asked your side of the argument.
    • Bonus? What bonus? Work 50% harder and get a 3% higher bonus. The handbook forgot to include the law of diminishing returns.
    • Take all your vacation and you'll miss your 93% utilization target (no exaggeration here) by 7.5%. You might make it up on your own time if you get on a gig that allows overtime and you're not too tired from traveling across the continent.
    • Your work is being rapidly replaced with cheaper labor from India and China.
    • The emphasis is on doing it now rather than doing it right.
    • 15% of the people in BCS are doing 100% of the (shoddy) work. The rest are there for decoration and billing purposes.
    • Professional development is a veritable impossibility. PBCs and IDPs are a total joke. Your evaluation will not reflect your job performance in any way.
    • When (not if) the system goes down, nobody will know how to fix it.
    • You will be treated as a RESOURCE, not a PERSON.
  • "What IBM used to be, isn't anymore" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: t used to be that IBM was an exemplary, world-class, enlightened employer that treated its employees fairly, honestly and with respect. You'd work very hard, but you would be rewarded for that hard work. That no longer is the case. Respect is gone. Fairness is a myth. Honesty is a joke. Loyalty fugeddaboutit. There is no such thing as having a career for the vast majority. Consider 15 years of benefit takeaways, the last 5 to 6 years with woefully underfunded salary plans, 5% quotas for promotions, chronic and constant layoffs, multiple attempts to steal pensions from experienced employees, and bonus plans based on unreasonable and unachievable goals. Why work for an anorexic, mentally ill corporation when there are better alternatives?
  • "You have to love this one!" by "Joe Dirt". Full excerpt: As Ginni Rometty has stated in her 2Q address, BCS is taking action to recapture momentum and get our business back on track. Across the company, individuals and teams are committing themselves to making the necessary changes to put us in a position to deliver on our promises.
    To drive revenue and profit during this critical time, we are asking for your assistance in the area of scheduled time off, as follows:
    • If you are currently engaged in billable work, and currently do not have scheduled vacation time in June, please be aware that we will not be able to accommodate any requested time off, except for exceptional circumstances.
    • If you are not engaged in billable work, and are currently on the bench, we encourage you to take vacation at this time.
    • If you have previously scheduled vacation in June, and you are currently engaged in billable work, we'd ask for your consideration in rescheduling your time-off for 3Q.
    This is a voluntary request, and without question, may or may not be difficult to execute on given the time of the year. That said, we appreciate your understanding and support as we pull together – all of us – to make sure we meet our goals in second quarter. I hope you can help, and urge you to do so. Please know that we appreciate all that you're doing to personally help to make second quarter a breakout one for BCS.

Coverage on Social Security Privatization
  • AARP: Future Shock. Is the latest Social Security proposal for indexing benefits ‘progressive’ or a body blow to the middle class? By Thomas N. Bethell. Excerpts: Looking ahead to 2055, the CBPP found that the combined cuts would be devastating. Medium earners would see their projected benefits slashed by 66 percent. Higher earners would face an 87 percent cut. “I can’t believe this is the right way to go,” says Colleen Fisher, a 33-year-old marketing consultant in Washington. “Social Security was enormously important for my grandparents, and I’m paying into it now with the hope that it’ll give me some real help someday. But when I look at Bush’s plan and think what it would mean to my son, Teddy, it’s a terrible gamble. And we shouldn’t be gambling with Social Security.” [...] Ball believes that long-term solvency can be maintained with modest revenue increases alone, and that Bush’s price-indexing plan, if enacted, would inevitably lead to a fatal erosion of public confidence in the program. “It really changes the entire philosophy of Social Security,” he says. “Instead of partially replacing a worker’s earnings, it gradually becomes a welfare program paying the same flat benefit to everyone—while protecting only the poorest 30 percent. I can’t imagine people continuing to support it, once they realize that the more they contribute, the less they’ll get.”
  • Economic Policy Institute: Social Security price indexing proposal means benefit cuts for workers. By William E. Spriggs and David Ratner. Excerpt: Much has been made of the recent Social Security proposal put forth by Robert Pozen, a member of Bush’s President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, and endorsed by President Bush. Pozen’s suggested changes to Social Security include blending the current wage indexing of benefits with price indexing, a shift that will reduce Social Security benefits for middle-income workers by 22% in 2055 and by 28% in 2085. Indeed, the Pozen proposal will lead to substantial and ever increasing benefit cuts for well over 70% of Social Security beneficiaries, including retirees, widows, and surviving children. Earlier projections discussing implications of the effects of Pozen’s proposal concern only workers who are either very young or not yet born. As a result, the cost of price indexing for current workers has been missing from the debate. These new estimates focus on current workers and, while remaining consistent with the proposal’s long-run projections, show substantial benefits cuts under the Pozen plan for them as well. These expanded numbers also include estimates for each state for different ages and national estimates for race, gender, and marital status.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • Alliance@IBM: Attention IBM employees: IBM is blocking e-mail to and from the Alliance@IBM e-mail address endicottalliance@stny.rr.com from inside the company. Please send your job cut information and other correspondence from your home e-mail. You can also contact us the following ways: Phone 607 658 9285 or Fax 607 658 9283.
  • IBM Pension Lawsuit FAQ about Cooper v IBM, Updated 6-2-05. Excerpt: Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the class action lawsuit against IBM's 1995 and 1999 pension plans. The answers are my personal opinions, have not been verified with either IBM or plaintiffs’ counsel, and should not be construed as legal advice. On July 31, 2003, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of the employees in this case. IBM will appeal portions of the ruling. On September 28, 2004, IBM and the legal team on Cooper v IBM announced that an agreement had been negotiated that settles some of the claims and set the amount of damages that IBM will pay to the class if IBM's appeal of the district court's age discrimination rulings is unsuccessful. Click on any question to jump to the answer. Or scroll down and read them all.
  • Resource Action Tool Kit. Along with the CWA Job Survival Kit, here are some resources you can use when challenging or questioning a company policy, procedure or practice.
    • Reduction in Workforce actions (RIF)...
    • Escalations, Appeals and Skip level meetings...
    • Implied contracts vs. Employees at Will...
    • In General...
  • Indianapolis Star: WellPoint to shift 380 jobs to IBM. Information technology personnel will retain seniority in change and won't need to relocate. By Jeff Swiatek.
  • Indianapolis Star: Indiana utility shifting jobs to IBM. Excerpt: NiSource Inc. has told many of its employees to submit resumes for jobs with IBM as the utility prepares to outsource possibly hundreds of jobs to the computer company. A letter to employees this week from NiSource President Robert Skaggs Jr. told them that they had two days to seek jobs with IBM. NiSource plans to outsource jobs to IBM in a move that will be worth up to $2 billion to the computer giant over 10 years.
  • Job Cuts Status & Comments Page. Excerpts: Job cuts are coming. Information needed: What is Your location? How many job cuts at your location? What locations are cutting jobs? Name of Division and Business Unit? Some sample submissions follow:
    • Yesterday (5/26/05) brought more resource actions, as they call it now, to the RTP and Atlanta CSO organizations. The numbers are not known at this time, but it's a take from the USA and give to Brazil job action again. The vendors are gone; the contractors are gone, so now it becomes a true blue IBMer that will go. We continue in the SAM era of adjusting the bottom line by getting rid of those that really care, instead of properly fixing the bottom line by going out and getting new business. WOW
    • Layoffs in Austin have suddenly stopped.....don't have a clue why. Heard that in another area in Austin there had been individual appointments scheduled between each employee and 1st and 2nd line managers on an entire team for a week solid. All of those appts were suddenly cancelled -- no explanation. What the heck is going on???? Do they not realize that this is only frustrating us even more? Morale is already at an all-time low...
    • I just got my call from my manager. I have 60 days to find another job in IBM (chances for that are between slim and none) and then I get separated with the 1 week for each 6 months. I'm not shocked. I knew this would be coming eventually. I'll try to see if any connections can find me something, but they may be in the same boat. They think I'm going to turn over everything to an outsourced replacement. Right. I'll turn over the obvious stuff, but I'll leave the nuggets out, so next time they have a real problem to fix, they'll be screwed.
    • IBM workers need to act while they still have some leverage! If IBM customers call for support and can't get it, they will pressure IBM management. If they complete their offshoring plans, it will be to late for IBM employees who are left.
    • 6 Job cuts in Seattle on May 31st. IGS Customer Engineers.
    • IGS AMS had a layoff on 5/31 in which about 6 people that I personally know, thus far, were terminated. These are IGS AMS employees. Some have until the end of June to find another job within IBM. Others have until end of July. Yesterday, those of us remaining were individually told that we were not affected. Of course, we were not told who was affected nor the numbers.
    • Get out while the gettin' is good. I was let go from EODT/CHQ this week. IBM is axing all the people who do work. You're just a number on a spreadsheet. The way IBM is heading, there won't be any customers left to support, and no company to manage.
    • I moved into this job 6 months ago and I was told what an excellent match my skills were and how grateful they were to have someone like me join the BTE. On 5/31 I was told that my skills no longer matched in the BTE and I was no longer needed at IBM. I have been at odds with the BTE management over the way they run their WW applications without any funding and how they are not business controls or SOX compliant. I know for a fact of several applications that are feeding incorrect data directly to the ledger. I also know that the BTE management is well aware of these same problems. I will be making Internal Audit and PwC aware as well before I leave. I have 30 days to find a non-existent job within IBM. I have also heard of 6 others in my group that were also laid off. However, none were the incompetent ones that can't do their daily jobs without our help. Instead we are all the ones who challenge management on their lack of abilities.
    • Guys! is your web site kidding with 607? These numbers are in thousands. Consulting, Support, BTO, everywhere people are losing jobs. Most people are getting 1 week severance for every year of service. Few did not get any.
    • I was cut on May 31st also as part of the CHQ cuts. I know of 5 others who were cut as well. I was told that I was surplus and I would have the opportunity to look internally but if I was unable to find a job by 6/30/2005 I would receive the usual 2 weeks for every year. We will probably never know the total number but I was told that 30% of the CIO's office was being cut.
    • Second round, more job cuts in BCS-Federal. No one, at my low level, knows how many but I personally know of 6 very good people that were laid-off.
    • Newly acquired LIS in South Carolina had mass layoffs on 5/31. I don't know how many employees were affected (I was one of them). We were given our 90 day notice. Before this we had to train our replacements in India.
    • Several hundred jobs including systems engineering, development, and test were transferred from AT&T to IBM in Middletown NJ. This represents the vast majority of the development projects at AT&T Labs effective 6/1/05. The subsequent offshoring of these jobs to India has already begun. Both AT&T and IBM are keeping the numbers a secret.
    • I understand that the lay offs in the BTE and BIE were very deep. As a 2+ employee, who was recently told I was critical to the organization, I, too, am out of a job. Reason - the job has gone away. I do have to wonder if my age (55), years of service (30) and a medical condition had any influence on this decision.
    • IBM Global Financing (IGF) announced on May 31, 2005 a resource action plan to permanently layoff 65 full-time employees (sales, staff, admin.) across the country. Very interesting in that over 50% are over 50 years old and no managers seem to be part of the layoff. Existing employees are fearful of more layoffs if 2Q results don't improve.
    • Hello, I've just discovered your site and it is excellent! There were national job cuts on Tuesday May 31, 2005 for IBM Global Financing Employees (IGF) in the U.S. The resource program is called GFAS (IBM Global Financing Americas and Supporting Functions Resource Action). It appears to be about 64 people (sales, staff, support, etc.) throughout the country. Many of the employees (slightly over 50%) dismissed are around 50 years old and the layoffs are permanent.
    • Talk about cut-throat. I've confirmed from several sources that Software Group in RTP will commence with their layoff plan on Monday 6/6. The reason for the delay is because they wanted to wait until a product (WAS 6.02) was completed today. Use us up, spit us out. A question for investors. Is this the kind of company you want to invest in?
    • I also feel like I'm a victim of age discrimination. I have been in my current dept. as a rehire since it started in early 2001 (I was "downsized" in 1993 too). I was the ONLY one targeted and let go in my department and am also the oldest at age 55. I have been one of if not the hardest worker day in and day out in the dept. and have more skills than some of the regulars hired in the last 6 months. They cut 4 contractors in April but all the rest are staying. And our dept. has plenty of work and is bringing in more. At our dept. meeting this week my manager said more will be coming into our dept. IBM is also screwing me on severance pay. I have a total of 16 years with the company but they will only base my severance on newest date of hire which was 2001. That means all I get is 8 weeks pay.
    • My OWBPA Report Div 5 BCS May 31, 2005 has a total of 193 Positions. BTO 57, Public Sector 43, Learning and Knowledge 23, BCS Finance 19, Americas Strategy, Marketing & Oper 27, Comms Sect 4, Dist Sect 4, Ind Sect 8, Fin Sect 3 Supply Chain 1, Alliances & Emering Bus 1, SMB 1. Also in my OWBPA report are the Resources actions from May 16, 2005. Div 5 BCS. Total 166. BTO 19 and Public Sect. 147. The total for BCS in May 2005 359. What just kills me is that I was a 2+ but I was not former PWC.

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
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